The U.S. House of Representatives should swiftly pass the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, following the U.S. Senate’s unanimous passage today of the bipartisan bill, which includes multiple hunting, fishing and wildlife conservation priorities. The bill, introduced by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), would be another significant win for wildlife and sportsmen and sportswomen nationwide.
“At a time when one-third of wildlife species are at heightened risk of extinction and lawmakers struggle to agree on anything, the Senate is again showing that conservation can bring our leaders together to achieve real progress — and we thank Chair Barrasso and Senator Carper for their incredible leadership. The House should follow suit and pass these common-sense, bipartisan investments to restore wildlife populations and conserve our outdoor heritage,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “The ACE Act confronts systemic challenges facing wildlife by restoring essential wildlife habitat like wetlands and the Chesapeake Bay, fighting Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk, and removing invasive species. While we still have much more work to do, this is an important victory for bipartisan solutions that the House should swiftly affirm.
“This bill’s passage is a testament to its bipartisan co-sponsors — Senators John Boozman, Ben Cardin, Kevin Cramer, Tammy Duckworth, James Inhofe, Shelley Moore Capito and Chris Van Hollen — as well as the leadership of lawmakers like Senator Martin Heinrich.”
The ACE Act will:
- Establish a Chronic Wasting Disease task force to develop an interstate action plan for state and federal cooperation relating to the disease;
- Commission a study by the National Academy of Sciences regarding the pathways and mechanisms of the transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease in the United States;
- Reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act until 2025;
- Encourage partnerships among public agencies and other interested parties for promoting fish conservation;
- Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Program until 2025;
- Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Grants Assistance Program until 2025;
- Reauthorize the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act until 2025;
- Establish a program to provide grants to states and Indian tribes to compensate livestock producers for losses due to predation by federally protected species such as wolves or grizzly bears; and,
- Establish a Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize for technological innovation to reduce human-predator conflict using non-lethal means.
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